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The world is focusing on Iraq's parliamentary elections - the second since the US-led invasion in 2003.

Millions of people turned out to cast their ballots across the country on Sunday, but the vote was marred by violence as a series of explosions left at least 38 people dead in the capital, Baghdad.

About 19 million voters were eligible to choose from more than 6,000 candidates from 86 political groups looking to gain seats in the 325-member assembly.

Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president, has said that the road to democracy has not been lined with roses. But has it been a truly democratic process?

After years under the rule of Saddam Hussein, followed by occupation and sectarian violence, is Iraq read to be a fully-fledged democracy?

Inside Story discusses with guests: Saad al-Muttalibi, an adviser to the council for ministers; Scott Lucas, the editor of EnduringAmerica.com and a professor of US foreign policy at the University of Birmingham; and Mundher Adhami, a researcher at Kings College, London.

This episode of Inside Story airs from Sunday, March 7, 2010 at the following times GMT: Sunday: 1730, 2230; Monday: 0430, 1030.

Source: Al Jazeera